Facebook launches Internet.org app in Zambia

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The Internet.org movement now has a mobile presence. Facebook announced Thursday that the Internet.org app is available to those in the landlocked southern African country of Zambia.

Through this app, Airtel customers in Zambia can access these apps:

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Facebook’s end goal: To be the cross-platform platform

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Facebook is making its pitch to games developers: to survive you need to be cross-platform. To be effectively cross-platform, you need to dance with Facebook.

While Facebook celebrated another successful quarter last week, there was a little bit of troubling news about the future of the company’s games economy. Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner summed up Facebook’s games dilemma in the quarterly earnings call:

Our current games payment revenue comes entirely from desktop usage and we are seeing declines in the number of people using Facebook on desktop, a trend that will make growing this business challenging going forward.

So at Casual Connect in San Francisco, Facebook made its sales pitch to game developers from all over the world: go mobile with us.

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Facebook’s future looks bright: video, Audience Network and mobile are keys

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Facebook is knocking on the door of bringing in $3 billion in a single quarter — and that might just be a stepping stone.

The company announced Wednesday that Q2 was its highest-performance quarter to date, with revenues of $2.9 billion and worldwide growth in revenue-per-user. They’re just getting started.

Much of Facebook’s economic growth of late has come from mobile. The highly-touted mobile app install ad has led to more than 350 million app installs, and the ad format is moving beyond games and into retailers and consumer packaged goods verticals. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that U.S. users spend an average of 40 minutes per day (including 1 of 5 minutes on mobile), but he wants a bigger slice of the digital media pie.

Mobile now accounts for 62 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue, and that figure could rise in the next couple years as Facebook develops more relevant and targeted video ads in concert with Audience Network — both of which are still in their infancies.

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The Buy button — Facebook’s next big thing?

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Facebook is testing a way for advertisers to make the direct sales pitch to people, and it could be a game-changer for advertisers and retailers. Through the Buy button, users can complete a transaction while staying in Facebook.

Marketers are already excited about the possibilities. Among the call to action buttons, the one closest to the bottom of the funnel has been Shop Now or Buy Now, prompting the user to finish a transaction on the external website. Even if someone doesn’t complete the transaction after clicking Buy, advertisers can know that the user is interested in making a purchase of that particular product, and they can target them with ads for that specific item.

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Facebook launches Save — a way to save posts to view later

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Your friend posts a link to a story in the New Yorker that’s 7 pages long, but you’re just quickly skimming Facebook at work. Your favorite band just posted their newest music video, but you’re on the train without headphones.

Now, Facebook has a way to save that content and check it out later. Through Save, users can indicate that they want to bookmark content to revisit later. It is rolling out for iOS, Android and Web users over the next few days.

Facebook software engineer Daniel Giambalvo announced Save (not a separate app, just a layer on top of the current Facebook experience) in a blog post:

Every day, people find all sorts of interesting items on Facebook that they don’t have time to explore right away. Now you can save items that you find on Facebook to check out later when you have more time. You can save items like links, places, movies, TV and music. Only you can see the items you save unless you choose to share them with friends.

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Facebook’s newest call to action test: Buy

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Facebook has been expanding its call to action options, but the one released today might be its most popular.

Facebook is testing a way users can directly buy a product without leaving Facebook, clicking a “buy” button right on the ad. This will be available on both desktop and mobile, among the advertisers in the test group.

Facebook announced this feature in a blog post:

We’ve built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure. None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.

The current test is limited to a few small and medium-sized businesses in the US. We’ll share more information as we gather feedback.

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Facebook launches Mentions: a new app for public figures

introducingmentions_2Facebook has been trying to make it easier for celebrities and other public figures to talk with fans. The company’s Creative Labs team today announced Mentions, a new app available for verified users and public figures. The app allows for more seamless communication between celebrities and Facebook fans and gives public figures a better way to see the discussion about them happening on the social networks.

Facebook introduced the new app (only available for public figures and verified pages) in a blog post:

Nearly 800 million people are connected to public figures on Facebook, and interacting with athletes, musicians, actors and other influencers is an important part of their experience. From cheering on World Cup players to checking out updates from favorite celebrities, there are more than a billion interactions between public figures and their fans on Facebook every week.

We want to make these interactions even better.

It appears that this may be the VIP app Facebook was testing last year.

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Facebook launches Ads Manager for mobile

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Now Facebook advertisers have a more reliable way to monitor ad performance on mobile devices. Facebook announced today that it is introducing Ads Manager to mobile.

Through the iOS or Android apps (or the mobile website), advertisers can use Ads Manager to:

  • Pause or resume campaigns
  • Edit budgets and schedules
  • View insights
  • Respond to alerts

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Nanigans Q2 report: Facebook ad CTR, costs growing

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Facebook will announce its official Q2 numbers on July 23, but quarterly figures from Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer Nanigans show that it’s getting increasingly costly to advertise on the social network.

According to Nanigans, though ad clickthrough rates have risen 47 percent from Q1 and 146 percent year over year, both the CPM and CPC are growing as well. The CPM of Facebook ads among Nanigans clients have grown 57 percent since last quarter and 218 percent year over year.

The starkest contrast has come in the category of gaming. CTR for game ads has skyrocketed 579 percent year over year. Naturally, the costs of these ads accelerated, as well. CPM for gaming ads has grown 367 percent year over year.

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A look into Facebook’s ‘Big Like Theory’

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In the TV show “The Big Bang Theory,” the humor and fun of the show comes from the relationships between the main characters as expressed by their geekiness. Geekiness often evidenced by their special and superior understanding of complex mathematical algorithms and science problems. As viewers we don’t always understand all of it, but we get that geeky commonality is what brings this group together and makes them tick.

Facebook ticks along pretty much in the same way, using complex algorithms and science to determine the strength and quality our relationships with our friends to affect what content we see and like in our News Feed… to keep us entertained enough to come back for more and more. So now I’ve got a “Big Like Theory: I’d like to share with you that plays into that idea.

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